Hearing & Balance Doctors

Balance

Your Balance Is a Critical Element to Your Overall Health

You only realize how much you have taken your balance for granted when you start to experience challenges. Being off-balance can be scary, impacting your confidence and preventing you from leaving your house.

When maintaining your balance becomes a significant challenge, you run the risk of severe injury if you should fall. However, other issues, such as vertigo, can also impact receiving proper nutrition, relaxing in your favorite chair, or being able to fall asleep.

Finding solutions to these issues is a critical part of your overall health.

Because your inner ear plays a crucial role in helping you to maintain your balance, our team of audiologists specializes in identifying and finding solutions to those who experience vertigo and difficulties maintaining their balance.

By identifying the causes and solutions to correct balance issues, our specialists have helped thousands of individuals, just like you, to return to their normal daily routine without fear.

Balance assessment

How Are Your Ears Involved in Balance?

Your inner ear not only helps you to hear, but it also helps you to maintain your balance. Within your inner ear is a structure shaped like a snail shell called the cochlea. Within this structure are a series of loops and canals referred to as the vestibular system. 

When normal, the vestibular system functions similar to the bubble used in a carpenter’s level. Three sets of semicircular canals and two sacs work together to detect linear motion, and when your body is out of balance, it sends a nerve signal to your brain, which then sends out instructions to other parts of your body to help you make the necessary adjustments.

If any of the elements (sacs, semicircular canals, nerves, etc.) are not working properly, then this can result in dizziness or vertigo.

Hearing Loss Is Connected to Balance Disorders

Hearing problems, according to a variety of studies, can affect balance and increase your risk of falling. “The sounds we hear affect our balance by giving us important information about the environment. We use sound information to keep ourselves balanced, especially in cases where other senses, such as vision or proprioception, are compromised,” reports Maura Cosetti, M.D., an associate professor of otolaryngology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Due to this connection, individuals who are experiencing balance disorders undergo screening for hearing loss as a part of assessing their condition. Because balance is heavily dependent upon the proper functioning of inner ear components, additional causes that affect these components can contribute to both issues as well, including:

Labyrinthitis or Vestibular Neuronitis

This is a result from inflammation in the labyrinth structure of the inner ear. It stems from some sort of infection, producing tinnitus and hearing loss. Labyrinthitis and vestibular neuronitis are nearly identical, except the latter does not include hearing loss.

Meniere’s disease

This results from increased pressure within the labyrinth structure. Meniere’s disease typically affects only one ear, but can affect both. The condition often disappears within a few years, but medications can help manage the condition.

Perilymph Fistula

This occurs whenever fluid from the inner ear leaks into the middle ear. Leakage is usually the result of a severe ear infection that’s related to head injury, a complication of head surgery, or a birth defect, but it can also appear after scuba diving.

 

Proper testing by an audiologist helps to identify these causes as well as providing the framework for hearing care that will aid in correcting balance issues.

Schedule Your Balance Consultation

Our Doctors Have Solutions for Your Balance Issues

In addition to increasing your risk of serious injury from a fall, balance issues affect your overall health and make you afraid to leave your home, decreasing your independence and reducing your quality of life. Our audiologists can thoroughly evaluate your inner ears and provide appropriate solutions to help you achieve better balance and get back to your regular routine.

If you or a loved one is experiencing dizziness, vertigo, feel out of balance, or has developed a hearing loss, schedule an appointment today.